Hong Kong Salaries Tax – Self Education Expense

Section 12(1)(e) of Inland Revenue Ordinance states that a person can get a deduction for Self-Education Expenses. In brief, the qualifying conditions are: –

 the expenses are paid to a recognized educational institute such as university, college, school, technical institute; and
 the expenses include tuition and examination fee for a course of education, and the course of education is related to employment, whether present employment or future employment;
 the fee of examination related to employment, whether present employment or future employment; and
 the expenses are not reimbursed or are not to be reimbursed by employer or any other person.

Only the actual amount paid in the year of assessment should be claimed. No spreading of the expenses throughout the period of the course is allowed. The maximum deduction is $40,000.
The Revenue may allow deduction, by concession, for examination fee of a professional examination relevant to your employment alone even though the taxpayer does not take a course of education or training.
Courses for language proficiency or higher level of education are acceptable.

Courses for self-accomplishment (e.g. driving lessons, cookery classes, religious seminars) are unacceptable.

Courses for obtaining knowledge to set up a business are unacceptable.

You may claim the deduction in your tax return. If you forget to do so, you may claim it by an objection when you receive the assessment. Even if you miss the objection deadline, you can still claim it by a Section 70A claim (because it is an omission — to claim the deduction).